PUBLI : Tommaso Vitale, Raffaele Vacca et David Cañarte, « Beyond ethnic solidarity : the diversity and specialisation of social ties in a stigmatised migrant minority », Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, online, 2021, p. 1 – 29


Whether presented as ethnic ‘soli­darity’ or ‘segre­ga­tion’, the idea that migrants’ social world is domi­nated by tightly-knit, homo­ge­neous, and supportive networks of kin and co-ethnics is common in schol­arly and public discourse around migra­tion, partic­u­larly for minori­ties with a history of margin­al­i­sa­tion, segre­ga­tion, and stig­ma­ti­sa­tion. We test this idea using results from the first survey of personal networks in one of the most stig­ma­tised immi­grant minori­ties in the Western world : Roma migrants in Europe. Analysing data on 119 Romanian Roma migrants in France and their 3,570 social ties, we iden­tify typical struc­tures of personal commu­ni­ties, describe the distri­b­u­tion and asso­ci­a­tion of different dimen­sions of social support, and esti­mate multi­level models to iden­tify deter­mi­nants of support in this popu­la­tion. We find that, even in contexts of strong margin­al­i­sa­tion and stig­ma­ti­sa­tion, the hypotheses of ethnic soli­darity, sociode­mo­graphic homophily, and network closure are inad­e­quate to explain the way migrants obtain social support.

Instead, Romanian Roma in France appear much closer to the model of ‘networked indi­vid­u­alism’ and similar to middle classes in Western ethnic majori­ties, as they strate­gi­cally main­tain diverse and far-flung networks, choose forms of elec­tive belonging in local contexts, and mobilise different social ties for different, specialised types of support.

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